The island of Bali is not a place often associated with luxury holidays. Over the years we have all heard more about the beach party resorts than anything else; but that is not to say that the idea of a luxury holiday – or honeymoon – in Bali is out of the question. In actual fact, Bali is home to a number of incredible luxury hotels and spa resorts. The volcanic sands of the island offer unique spa experiences and the volcanoes responsible for these sands make for incredible backdrops and breath-taking scenery. If you don’t believe us, then take a look at the two hotels in this post, it is Bali, but not as you know it.
Spa Village Resort Tembok
Driving from the airport through Bali’s stunning interior, en route to the northern coast, was a real treat. Passing lush green paddies and one pretty village after the other, it was like entering an explosion of verdant greenery and stunning tropical blooms – frangipani, hibiscus and orchids to name but a few. Already soothed by the beauty of Bali’s countryside we were thrilled at the prospect of daily pampering treatments at the Spa Village Resort Tembok.
Learn more about Spa Village Resort Tembok
Entering the tranquil surroundings of the resort, we noted how wonderfully remote it was and we became excited about the volcanic black-sand beach. The resort offers a schedule of suggested activities, a menu of spa treatments and a selection of Discovery Paths all designed to offer a truly authentic Balinese experience based on ancient and colourful traditions. You can choose between Balance, Creativity and Vigour treatments, or even opt to join the Spa Village Academy, which promises participants a deeper understanding of the philosophy and practice of Balinese healing arts.
We opted to do as little as possible, yet indulge ourselves as much as we could. Each of our daily 50-minute spa treatments (included in the rate, along with all our meals) started with a delectable pre-treatment ritual called the Segara Giri, Balinese for mountain. This was a heavenly experience of foot-cleansing with black volcanic sand, designed to re-connect a person with the earth – the perfect prelude to an invigorating Balinese massage. One evening we tried out the Massage Under the Stars right at the ocean’s edge – a walk along a candlelit sandy path listening to the sound of the sea was preparation enough for lying back and drifting into sublime relaxation. The scent of the herbal oils and the smell of the ocean was true nirvana. Days passed in a wonderful haze of indulging in superb spa treatments, relaxing in lovely accommodation, sampling delicious cuisine and enjoying the hospitality of the beautiful smiling Balinese people, whose sole purpose seemed only to please.
Alila Villas Soori – a Unique Setting
We were in search of somewhere luxurious, unique and remote, yet not too far from civilisation and, as soon as we arrived, we knew that we had hit the jackpot at Alila Villas Soori. Found in the region of Tabanan on the southwest coast of Bali, only 70 minutes from the airport and 40 minutes west of trendy Seminyak, our driver found the resort by navigating narrow village lanes lined with verdant greenery and beautiful tropical blooms.
Learn more about Alila Villas Soori
Exquisitely designed by Alila – typically cool, stylish, contemporary and super-luxurious – it held no surprises on the property front and lived up to all our expectations. The location, however, was like nowhere else. Nestled on a beautiful volcanic black-sand beach with crashing white surf, the backdrop is the brightest of greens in the form of lush rice fields stretching towards the horizon, which rests at the foot of the mystical Mount Batukaru.
It would be safe to say the location was epic. The contrast between foreground and background was staggering: a total juxtaposition of outlook from one spot. We had opted for a beautiful Beach Pool Villa, as we wanted views of the azure-blue Indian Ocean, but were equally tempted by the serenity of the mountain view and rice paddies and mentally pencilled in a second visit.
Venturing out one evening we visited Bali’s most iconic sacred temple, Tanah Lot, a 20-minute drive away. Precariously perched on a rock jutting from the beach, we found ourselves mesmerised by the perpetual rhythm of crashing waves and rich russet and orange sunset against the silhouette of the temple’s seven-tiered pagoda roof. Leaving the other onlookers to take in the dusky views, we headed back to our remote sanctuary for dinner on the beach at the lovely open-air Coast restaurant. Tucking into a delicious menu – which varies, daily according to the freshest locally-sourced ingredients – while enjoying the sea breeze and the sound of the waves, we felt totally self-satisfied (and even a little smug) for choosing this unique and magical resort.